Investigators narrow search on doomed EgyptAir flight's final location

Investigators narrow search on doomed EgyptAir flight's final location
3 min read
26 May, 2016
EgyptAir Flight 804's emergency locator transmitter has been located to a five kilometre radius, as investigators continue the search for the plane's two black boxes on the Mediterranean seabed.
The black boxes emit pings for no more than about a month [Getty]

An Egyptian team investigating the location and final moments of EgyptAir Flight 804 said its emergency location transmitter [ELT] has been tracked to a five kilometre radius in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Ayman al-Moqaddem, head of the investigation team, told local media on Wednesday the distress signal transmitter had been detected, which should help search teams pinpoint the location of the passenger plane's black boxes.

"The location of the device has been traced to a five kilometre circle through the signals it sends to satellites," Moqaddem said.

"Searches are underway to find the device which will help find other parts of the wreckage," he added.

The plane crashed in the Mediterranean last Thursday between the Greek island of Crete and Egypt's north coast with 66 people aboard, including 30 Egyptians and 15 French nationals.

The French foreign ministry said on Wednesday that France and Egypt will hire two private firms to help in the hunt for the black boxes.

EgyptAir: The fate of MS804
Search on for clues in EgyptAir crash
Egypt releases images of plane wreckage following smoke reports
Doomed EgyptAir flight had 'chaotic' last moments

Egyptian military 'finds EgyptAir wreckage'
Algerian family of four among EgyptAir disaster victims
In-depth: More pain for Egypt, more embarrassment for government 
A recent history of Middle East aviation disasters
Russian spy chief: 'Terrorists' brought down EgyptAir plane
MS804: Islamic State group 'clearly targeting France'
Blog: What causes planes to crash or go missing?
EgyptAir flight feared crashed off Greek island
EgyptAir flight 'disappears' between Paris and Cairo
In pictures: Families of missing EgyptAir passengers await news
Egyptian investigators split on EgyptAir explosion claims

"We are in talks with two private companies... in coordination with the Egyptian authorities," a ministry spokesman said.

"The idea is to mobilise the resources very quickly."

A diplomatic source in Paris said the two companies, both French, were the Mauritius-based Deep Ocean Search [DOS] and Alseamar, based in the French capital.

French and Egyptian aviation officials have said it is too soon to determine what caused the disaster, although a terror attack on the Airbus A320 has not been ruled out.

France and Egypt will share the costs for the search, which faces a race against the clock, as the flight data and voice recorders emit locator "pings" for no more than about a month.

Egypt has deployed a submersible that can operate at a depth of 3,000 metres in the hunt for the black boxes, while a French patrol boat is also in the search area, concentrating mainly on the surface.

France's aviation safety agency has said the aircraft transmitted automated messages indicating smoke in the cabin and a fault in the flight control unit before contact was lost.

[Click to enlarge]